As I look back on the year 1947, I now realize it was one of those important years.
The main event took place January 11th when I became a big sister to my brother Jim. Yesterday happens to have been my brother's 67th birthday!
On that Saturday morning 67 years ago I remember my mother not feeling well and my dad calling a member of our church Miss Nancy Mitchem to get advice on what to do. Now Miss Nancy was not really a nurse but a medical technologist, but she was regarded as the go-to person on questions of health in our small church community.
I remember Miss Nancy telling my dad that Mother needed to go to the hospital. An ambulance was called. As the corpsmen wheeled my mother out of the house, I wondered if I would ever see her again. I don't remember any reassurance from my dad. I guess he drove straight to the hospital.
I was taken to Miss Nancy's house (really the home of her sister and husband). My mother was in the hospital for far too long in my 'almost 5' mind, but in reality it was only a week.
That week was one of the longest of my life. Since the house was rather small and Miss Nancy's younger sister also was living there, sleeping space was limited. My lot fell to sleeping with Miss Nancy, who complained to everyone about my restlessness (tossing and turning), preventing her from getting to sleep. I got the feeling that the others were not particularly happy to have me around. That I was also missing my parents a lot didn't help matters.
Finally my mother got to come home and I was going to get to see my new brother. I could hardly contain myself with excitement about what he would be like, wondering what he would like to play.
My dad took me to the store and let me pick out a gift for him. In those days a prized possession for me was a new box of crayons, so that's what I chose to give him.
When we got home I ran in the door and down the hallway, looking for him, calling out, "Baby brother, I brought you some crayons!"
All I saw down the hall was my mother resting in bed. When I asked, "Where's my baby brother," she pulled back the covers. And there was this tiny face wrapped in a blanket. And he wasn't even awake, to boot.
Life was much different for me from that point on. I was not 'the only one' anymore. My mother seemed to be constantly busy, and I'm sure she was.
But one thing I really liked that changed was that my dad began spending more time with me. I remember that spring he took me to the country fair where I got to ride a ferris wheel for the first time. I remember the thrill of our carriage stopping near the top and the sudden start down, making my tummy flip-flop. We bought some cotton candy. Oh, how delicious it was!
My brother did eventually grow. Our closeness took some time, but that bond is now in our mature years stronger than ever. I know always that he has my back, whatever happens.